International Institute for Sustainable Development

Institut international du développement durable


Senior Fellow

Richard A. Matthew is an Associate Professor in the Schools of Social Ecology and Social Science at the University of California at Irvine, and founding Director of the Center for Unconventional Security Affairs (

Dr. Matthew has taught at Georgetown University and Williams College. He is a senior member of the United Nations Expert Advisory Group on Environment, Conflict and Peacebuilding; a member of the World Conservation Union’s Commission on Environmental, Economic and Social Policy; and a steering committee member of the Coalition Advocating Human Security. He was a co-founder of the Global Environmental Change and Human Security Research Programme and has worked closely with many government departments and agencies in the United States and Canada; intergovernmental organizations including the United Nations, the OECD and NATO; and the private sector.

He studies (a) the environmental dimensions of conflict and peacebuilding; (b) climate change adaptation in conflict and post-conflict societies; and (c) transnational threat systems. Much of this work has explored possibilities for reducing threat and vulnerability through education, conservation and poverty alleviation. He has undertaken fieldwork throughout South Asia and Africa, including the DRC, Nepal, Pakistan, Rwanda, and Sierra Leone.

Dr. Matthew has over 130 publications. His articles have appeared in a range of journals including Alternatives, Environment and Development, Global Environmental Politics, International Affairs, Peace Review, and Security Dialogue. Recent books include Global Environmental Change and Human Security (MIT, 2010); Reframing the Agenda (Praeger, 2004); Landmines and Human Security (SUNY, 2004); Dichotomy of Power: Nation versus State in World Politics (Rowman and Littlefield, 2002); Conserving the Peace: Resources, Livelihoods, and Security (IISD, 2002); and Contested Grounds: Security and Conflict in the New Environmental Politics (SUNY, 1999).


  • International Studies Association (serves as editor of the Environmental Studies Section Newsletter); Academic Council of the United Nations; Global Environmental Change and Human Security Programme; Division Council, California Institute for Telecommunic


  • PhD – Philosophy (Politics): Princeton University.
  • Master of Arts – Politics: Princeton University.
  • Bachelor of Arts – Political Science: McGill University.


  • English
  • French
Conflict-Sensitive Conservation: Practitioners' Manual
Book: Anne Hammill, Alec Crawford, Robert Craig, Robert Malpas, Richard Matthew (September 21, 2009)
From Conflict to Peacebuilding: The role of natural resources and the environment
Book: Richard Matthew, Oli Brown, David Jensen (February 23, 2009)
Microfinance and Climate Change Adaptation
Paper: Anne Hammill, Richard Matthew, Elissa McCarter (November 5, 2008)
Surviving in a Changing World: Environment, Security and Microfinance
Paper: Richard Matthew, Anne Hammill (September 7, 2006)
Conserving the Peace: Resources, Livelihoods and Security
Book: Mark Halle, Richard Matthew, Jason Switzer (August 26, 2002)